Doctor Explains Why He Supports Ordinance for Smoke Free Lubbock

Thursday the West Texas Smoke Free Coalition asked the Lubbock City Council for a stronger ordinance on smoking in the Hub City, and one local doctor said he completely supports the idea.
By: Meredith Hillgartner

LUBBOCK,TX- Dr. Scott Shurmur, Section Chief of Cardiology for the Texas Tech Health Science Center, said Friday he fully supports and encourages the idea of a stronger smoking ordinance in Lubbock. 

At Thursday nights city council meeting, the West Texas Smoke Free Coalition, asked the Lubbock City Council to strengthen the current city ordinance regarding smoking in bars and restaurants.

The group said the current ordinance, which allows business owners to make their own decision on the matter, does not protect the health of an establishments workers.

"Our basic belief is that you shouldn't have to sacrifice your life simply to earn a paycheck," Matt Harris WTSFC member said.

Dr. Shurmur provided statistics Friday to support Harris' claim. 

"When exposed constantly to that smoke, clearly their health comes at risk," Dr. Shurmur said. "While some may think that smoking in public places is an individual right, it's really not because nobody has the right to put another's health at risk." 

Some of the health risks associated with second-hand smoke are: lung cancer, stroke, possible heart attack, bronchitis and asthma flare ups. 

Mayor Glen Robertson said he believes it is not the city council's place to make those kinds of decisions, rather the responsibility of the business owner. 

"Business owners and property owners need to make the decision if they want to allow smoking in their facility or not," Mayor Robertson said. 



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